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Increase in metazoan ecosystem engineering prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia.
R Soc Open Sci. 2019 Sep; 6(9):190548.RS

Abstract

The disappearance of the soft-bodied Ediacara biota at the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary potentially represents the earliest mass extinction of complex life, although the precise driver(s) of this extinction remain unresolved. The 'biotic replacement' model proposes that an evolutionary radiation of metazoan ecosystem engineers in the latest Ediacaran profoundly altered marine palaeoenvironments, resulting in the extinction of Ediacara biota and setting the stage for the subsequent Cambrian Explosion. However, metazoan ecosystem engineering across the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition has yet to be quantified. Here, we test this key tenet of the biotic replacement model by characterizing the intensity of metazoan bioturbation and ecosystem engineering in trace fossil assemblages throughout the latest Ediacaran Nama Group in southern Namibia. The results illustrate a dramatic increase in both bioturbation and ecosystem engineering intensity in the latest Ediacaran, prior to the Cambrian boundary. Moreover, our analyses demonstrate that the highest-impact ecosystem engineering behaviours were present well before the onset of the Cambrian. These data provide the first support for a fundamental prediction of the biotic replacement model, and evidence for a direct link between the early evolution of ecosystem engineering and the extinction of the Ediacara biota.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Earth and Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA. Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740, USA.Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK.Earth and Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA. Department of Biodiversity, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.Earth and Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA.Geological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94304, USA.Earth and Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA.Geological Survey of Namibia, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Windhoek, Namibia.Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.Earth and Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31598294

Citation

Cribb, Alison T., et al. "Increase in Metazoan Ecosystem Engineering Prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian Boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia." Royal Society Open Science, vol. 6, no. 9, 2019, p. 190548.
Cribb AT, Kenchington CG, Koester B, et al. Increase in metazoan ecosystem engineering prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia. R Soc Open Sci. 2019;6(9):190548.
Cribb, A. T., Kenchington, C. G., Koester, B., Gibson, B. M., Boag, T. H., Racicot, R. A., Mocke, H., Laflamme, M., & Darroch, S. A. F. (2019). Increase in metazoan ecosystem engineering prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia. Royal Society Open Science, 6(9), 190548. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190548
Cribb AT, et al. Increase in Metazoan Ecosystem Engineering Prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian Boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia. R Soc Open Sci. 2019;6(9):190548. PubMed PMID: 31598294.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Increase in metazoan ecosystem engineering prior to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary in the Nama Group, Namibia. AU - Cribb,Alison T, AU - Kenchington,Charlotte G, AU - Koester,Bryce, AU - Gibson,Brandt M, AU - Boag,Thomas H, AU - Racicot,Rachel A, AU - Mocke,Helke, AU - Laflamme,Marc, AU - Darroch,Simon A F, Y1 - 2019/09/25/ PY - 2019/03/22/received PY - 2019/08/23/accepted PY - 2019/10/11/entrez PY - 2019/10/11/pubmed PY - 2019/10/11/medline KW - Cambrian KW - Ediacaran KW - ecosystem engineering KW - extinction KW - trace fossil SP - 190548 EP - 190548 JF - Royal Society open science JO - R Soc Open Sci VL - 6 IS - 9 N2 - The disappearance of the soft-bodied Ediacara biota at the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary potentially represents the earliest mass extinction of complex life, although the precise driver(s) of this extinction remain unresolved. The 'biotic replacement' model proposes that an evolutionary radiation of metazoan ecosystem engineers in the latest Ediacaran profoundly altered marine palaeoenvironments, resulting in the extinction of Ediacara biota and setting the stage for the subsequent Cambrian Explosion. However, metazoan ecosystem engineering across the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition has yet to be quantified. Here, we test this key tenet of the biotic replacement model by characterizing the intensity of metazoan bioturbation and ecosystem engineering in trace fossil assemblages throughout the latest Ediacaran Nama Group in southern Namibia. The results illustrate a dramatic increase in both bioturbation and ecosystem engineering intensity in the latest Ediacaran, prior to the Cambrian boundary. Moreover, our analyses demonstrate that the highest-impact ecosystem engineering behaviours were present well before the onset of the Cambrian. These data provide the first support for a fundamental prediction of the biotic replacement model, and evidence for a direct link between the early evolution of ecosystem engineering and the extinction of the Ediacara biota. SN - 2054-5703 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31598294/Increase_in_metazoan_ecosystem_engineering_prior_to_the_Ediacaran_Cambrian_boundary_in_the_Nama_Group_Namibia_ L2 - https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.190548?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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